Illinois farmers could take a big hit if China imposes pork and soybean tariffs

Illinois farmers could take a big hit if China imposes pork and soybean tariffs

Since China’s announcement of a possible 25 percent tariff on pork and soybeans, those markets have been unstable.

China is the top overseas market for US soybeans, so if those tariffs are carried out, some worry it’ll hurt middle America.

Garry Niemeyer is a soybean and corn farmer in Auburn.

He said the soybean market dropped right after China’s announcement, but it has since been rebounding.

“Overreaction is the worst thing you can do at a time like this,” Niemeyer said. “Ironically since this announcement came out, the price of soybeans and corn has come back over two-thirds of what they lost in two days.”

He said farmers shouldn’t be too concerned right now since harvest season is still months away.

“There’s only so many bushels of soybeans and bushels of corn in the world,” Niemeyer said. “The way things are going, if the Brazilians are capable of running the price up and selling to the Chinese, they may inadvertently have to come to the United States to buy soybeans to fill their demand for soybeans. This is a world market.”

Pork is also on China’s retaliatory list.

“It’s a country that’s extremely important to my family’s livelihood here in Logan County,” pig farmer Thomas Titus said.

Titus said he’s very concerned.

In the past week, he said the price per head is dropped $15.

Titus said he hopes the president realizes the implications a trade war could have on families like his.

“Whenever talking to legislators, if I were talking to President Donald Trump, it would be a good opportunity to reiterate what we do on our farms and the importance of all those foreign markets and what roles those play for us here in rural America,” Titus said.

The National Pork Producers Council said roughly one in every four pigs are sold outside of the US, and China is one of the major buyers.

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